As part of the Strange Magic press event at Skywalker Ranch I had the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Director Gary Rydstrom. He has a background in sound design and directed two shorts at Pixar, the Oscar®-nominated “Lifted” and “Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation.”
The interview took place at Skywalker Sound located at Skywalker Ranch in Marin, CA. Skywalker Ranch is located 40 minutes North of San Francisco and the property is gorgeous. They also make and sell wine there! When I visited Skywalker Ranch the harvest season had past but it was still a very beautiful site to see.
Strange Magic is a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd. and is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
When Gary spoke about working with the actors on the film they looked for actors that could not only act but were great singers as well. He said that Kristin Chenoweth’s (who voices the Sugar Plum Fairy) high notes were amazing and he thought that his glasses might break!
Gary ran lines with some of the actors and enjoyed his time with Elijah Kelley (voice of Sunny) because he always had so much energy in the recording booth. While running lines with Elijah he was either the Sugar Plum Fairy or Dawn and Gary thought that was fun.
The actors brought something of themselves to the role and Gary found this to be most interesting with Alan Cumming because of his Scottish accent and in the movie you will notice the Bog King has a slight accent. The Bog King happens to be his favorite character in the film because everyone has felt like the Bog King before and had their heart broken so a lot of people can relate to him.
Gary stresses that the theme of the movie is that being different is not only okay, it’s what’s required and learning what’s different about each other is what’s required for falling in love.
But wait…there’s more.
- Review of Touchstone Pictures’ STRANGE MAGIC
- Interview with George Lucas
- Interview with Elijah Kelley
- Tour of Skywalker Ranch
Disney invited me to San Francisco to attend a media event for Strange Magic. All expenses have been paid by Disney, but all opinions are always 100% my own.